Monday, March 4, 2024

Indomitable

Indomitable. What an impressive word. It speaks to inner strength, conviction, and a level of dedication unmatched by most.

You are indomitable.

Sounds good, right?

But, how does one get to a place where this powerful word actually applies? Is it something we’re born with…something we learn…something else?

We’ve seen leaders who appear to have it all together. They’re polished in front of a crowd. They are composed. They think quickly and rarely misstep.

…and we think to ourselves…I want to be like that.

But how? Mentors can play a vital part. But don’t wait for your employer to launch a mentorship program. Go find the one you want. Breakthroughs come when we bring them to life, not because we waited around for someone else to tap us on the shoulder.

How else? Pay attention to those inside and outside your organization who are making things happen. Moving toward indomitable is a proactive series of steps.

And always, ask for feedback. Show your humility in order to get stronger. Those that are always ‘strong’ are burning a tremendous amount of energy hoping you’ll believe their story is true. No one is always on top of their game 100% of the time. 

No one.



So, how do you get to a place where this applies to you?

You decide, that’s how.

Indomitable. That my friend, is you.

Thanks for being here.

Jay


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Monday, February 26, 2024

When to Bet on Your People

When do you know it’s time to give a member of your team a new opportunity? How can you tell if someone is ready for the next step in their career? What are the signals that indicate you should trust one of your people to lead an initiative, particularly when you may not agree completely with their path forward?

Despite the dramatic shift in worker expectations, the world of remote work, and more pressure than ever for companies to perform, the challenge of leading people is still, in many ways, unchanged.

Senior leaders still make the decisions that allow more junior leaders the chance to grow.



It would be great if there was a playbook that told us exactly what needs to be done before we take the risk and let those junior leaders fly. 

I would love a checklist that guarantees those decisions so I wouldn’t look bad…and neither would that young leader. Their success is my success, right?

But these tools, in most cases, don’t exist. We have to gather multiple data points to help us gain confidence and make that decision. 

It’s their time…and we have to let them fly, fail a bit, coach them back on track, and watch them succeed.

What process do you use? Or, is it simply easier to do everything yourself?

Thanks for being here.

Jay


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Monday, February 19, 2024

What Do Other People Get Wrong About You?

What do other people get wrong about you? Do they make superficial assumptions because of your style, hobbies or other interests? This has been a struggle for me at various times when I find myself being too judgmental of others. Why is that such a persistent element of human nature? 

I don’t like it…particularly when I’m the one doing the judging.

We’re all complex people. For example, I’m passionate about effective, inclusive leadership and view that as the only legitimate way to shoulder the responsibility of leading others with any measure of credibility. I have a deep faith, attend a men’s small group bible study every week, and am on the Board of the Children’s Cancer Center in Tampa, FL. 

I also love tattoos, heavy metal music, and have more energy than just about everyone I know (and want to be ‘on the go’ all the time.) 

I told you…we are all complex beings.




So, where does that place me on the assumptions continuum? Am I a decent person, a scary person, or maybe just like you…unique in my own way?

I struggle with judging others and work hard to minimize the impact. My approach is (usually) this: if they’re not hurting anyone, they’re okay with me.

What do others get wrong about you? And, how do you combat the instinct to judge others and risk getting it all wrong?

Thanks for being here.

Jay


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Monday, February 12, 2024

Refuge

Sometimes the combined pressure of work, personal relationships and societal expectations can be a bit too much. Many times that pressure isn’t negative, it can simply be…a lot.

Layer on top the role leaders play and you can quickly find yourself on a collision course with reality. 

Having it all together, all the time, for everyone, is a tall order even for the most effective person.


So, what are we to do? Let the stress overwhelm us? Have a breakdown? Curl up in a ball all weekend trying to gather the energy to face it all again on Monday?

Of course not.

Life is not only about work…or relationships…or what society thinks of us. 

It starts with us. Finding ourselves. Feeling comfortable in our own skin. And, ultimately not giving a damn what society thinks.

Refuge begins on the inside.

At least it does for me. It also begins with a focus on my faith before anything else.

That has been, and continues to be, the most important step to successfully navigate the world around me.

What is your refuge?

Thanks for being here.

Jay


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Monday, February 5, 2024

Green Shoots

How do you view the junior members of your team? Do you cling to the concept that “they’re not quite ready?” If that’s where you’re at…and that’s okay…do you have a plan in place so you’ll know when they are ready?

You can’t have it both ways.

I’m not necessarily talking about succession planning, that is a far more complex and rarely executed well strategy.

The opportunity for us all is to follow one of my core leadership tenets: risk. When we identify someone on our teams who has potential, we need to explore what they can do. And that can be messy in the beginning.

Think about putting in a new lawn. The yard is muddy, we spread grass seed, and then we let those seeds find their way.

Just like with our team members. We drop them into new experiences, and normally expect them to thrive immediately. That philosophy makes no sense to me. We need to let them learn and grow. Just like those grass seeds. 


So back to my opening question…when will those employees be ready? Perhaps it’s time to reconsider whether the ‘gut instinct’ you have about people is enough in today’s world of work?

Instead, why not build out a specific development plan that ensures you’ll not only have the leadership talent required down the road, but that those same up and coming leaders will give you the benefit of the doubt and actually stay.

Thanks for being here.

Jay


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Monday, January 29, 2024

Little Moments

We often think of leadership moments as charismatic performances that sway organizational direction toward success.

Actually, they’re… 

Not always in the middle of a crisis,

Not always driving your vision forward,

Not always hammering through your competition.

Sometimes…the most impactful leadership moments are the littlest ones…

A smile,

A handshake,

A check-in,

A text,

A look,

A coffee,

A thank you.

What little moments do you embrace as a leader?

Thanks for being here.

Jay


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Monday, January 22, 2024

You’re on Mute (thankfully)

There’s always one person on the team who gets so fired up they just can’t…well...they just can’t stop talking about how exciting things are.

You know them well. Seemingly amped up all the time…and that’s a good thing…most of the time. At other times you’d like them to take a breath!

C’mon man…let someone else in here. Am I right?

Fortunately I have such a profound level of self-awareness that I’m absolutely 100% totally confident that on our team I am certainly not…or…I am mostly 90% sure that…um…I’m reasonably sure that my colleagues understand why I…

…oh crap, it’s me.

I’m that guy.

Sorry everyone. Feel free to put me on mute whenever I get too fired up.

(In fairness to me, over the last few years we have been crushing it and that’s something to get excited about!)

Thanks for being here.

Jay


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